Policy


Policy

Privacy Policy 

The Therapy Space is committed to protecting the privacy and security of personal information and stores data securely in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018 guidelines.  For further details and gain a better understanding on GDPR please refer to the following ICO link;  https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/

The data collected is used to assist the therapeutic relationship process and all notes are collected and stored in a safe, confidential and ethical manner.   

On occasion it may be necessary to share your personal data with a third party if you or someone close to you is at risk of significant harm.  This will be discussed with you before any disclosure if there is no risk of harm to the client or others.  However, if there is a risk of immediate danger, in some circumstances The Therapy Space has a legal obligation to break confidentiality.  This may be in a form of a court order, concerns over child protection or information or knowledge regarding drug trafficking or acts of terrorism, please refer to the additional information below, 'Confidentiality and the Legal Obligations of the Therapist'.  

For insurance purposes, your personal abbreviated session notes are held for 3 years after therapy has concluded.  Financial records, such as invoices will be held for up to 6 years in accordance with HMRC regulations.  Please refer to the following HMRC link for further details; https://www.gov.uk/self-employed-records/how-long-to-keep-your-records for further information.  

In the case of lone worker / home visit, a member of The Therapy Space team will have access to your name, home address and telephone number and time of visits in case of any emergency.  Please refer to the following HSE link for a clear understanding and further details; http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/workers/lone.htm

As a member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapies (BACP) https://www.bacp.co.uk/events-and-resources/ethics-and-standards/ethical-framework-for-the-counselling-professions/ The Therapy Space is bound by a code of ethics.    To ensure The Therapy Space provides good practice it is essential that counsellors attend clinical supervision.  This involves using the services of a clinical supervisor to review the counsellors work, client work and professional development.  Personal data remains confidential under the terms described above.  

Confidentiality 

Personal information disclosed during a session will be confidential, however, there are some exceptions:

As outlined in the privacy policy counsellors are required to have regular and on-going clinical supervision to review and monitor the therapist's work, as well as an opportunity to gain new perspectives on the counselling process. Personal data will not be disclosed unless there is cause for concern for you or another person/s.


The Therapy Space has a legal obligation to breach confidentiality if a request via a court order is made, concerns over child protection, knowledge of drug trafficking or acts of terrorism are disclosed.  

Session Notes 

Session notes are taken after each session for reference and to ensure continuity of sessions. They are stored safely and securely and remain confidential between The Therapy Space and the client. Please refer to, 'Confidentiality and the Legal Obligations of the Therapist' for any exceptions .  If you require a copy of your notes, please inform your counsellor in writing and the notes will be provided in line with the General Data Protection Regulation, (GDPR), (2018).

Confidentiality and the Legal Obligations of the Therapist 

Confidentiality is at the core of the counselling service.  However, there may be times when breaking confidentiality is necessary to fulfil legal and ethical responsibilities.  To ensure this is clearly communicated to clients, this document sets out the limits of confidentiality. 

  • Clients should be aware of the extent and limitations of the confidentiality that they are being offered by the therapist.
  • Under the General Data Protection Act, May 2018, therapist should gain explicit consent to the making and keeping of records that contain personally sensitive and will apply to most records and notes written by the therapist.
  • Clients to be told the of circumstances in which the therapist may wish to breach confidentiality and to have an opportunity to discuss and negotiate this with the therapist at the outset of their work together.
  • The therapist should provide a clear therapeutic contract with terms that the client fully understands, accept and support.  (Dale, 2008)
  • Clients should know who will make, keep and have access to their notes and records, how they will be kept, for how long, and for what purposes they may be retained/destroyed/disclosed.
  • Clients should be informed when the therapist may have to or is about to breach their confidentiality unless there are cogent, defensible reasons why this cannot be the case, for example in cases of terrorism, certain child protection situations (such as where it may be dangerous to a child or others to alert a person about impending disclosure, or may compromise a police investigation) or mental incapacity
  • To know how, why and to whom information will be given by the therapist
  • To know the importance of and/or see what is being said about the client if they wish to do so.

A counsellor cannot be legally bound to confidentiality about a crime. Courts have concluded that it is defensible to breach confidence, in good faith, in order to assist the prevention or detection of a serious crime. (BACP, 2019).  The following information sets out the legal obligations of a therapist for breaching confidentiality;

  • Prevention of serious harm to the client or to others, (The Serious Crime Act 2007).
  • It is a criminal offence for a person to fail to disclose, without reasonable excuse, any information which s/he either knows or believes might help prevent another person carrying out an act of terrorism or might help in bringing a terrorist to justice in the UK.
  • (The Terrorism Act 2000/ Counterterrorism and Security Act 2015).
  • The reporting of drug trafficking and money laundering for any crime in legal and financial services. (The Drug Trafficking Act 1994/Proceeds of Crime Act 2002/The Money Laundering Regulations 2007).
  • In the context of working with children and young people, the family court can make a recovery order under s.50 of the Children Act 1989 in relation to a child who is in care, under police protection or subject to an emergency protection order, and who has been abducted, has run away or is otherwise missing. The court may require any person who has information as to the child’s whereabouts to disclose that information, if asked to do so, by a constable or the court, see section 51(3)(c). Failure to comply with the order may constitute the offence of contempt of court.
  • Court Order, (The Serious Crime Act 2007/The Coroners and Justice Act 2009/The Coroners (Investigations) Regulations 2013/The Coroners (Inquests) Rules 2013).
  • If the therapist is informed a girl under the age of 18 that she has undergone an act of FGM; or they observe physical signs that an act of FGM may have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18. (The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003).
  • Client requests and statutory requests for access to personal data made under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018, for details, please see GPiA 105 (BACP 2018a).
  • A ‘child’ is defined as a person under the age of 18. (The Children Act 1989 (CA 1989), in conjunction with subsequent legislation including (The Children Act 2004), places a statutory duty on health, education and other services to co-operate with local authorities in child protection. There is a statutory duty to work together, including information sharing, in conducting initial investigations of children who may be in need, or be subject to abuse and in the more detailed core assessments carried out under s.47 of (The Children Act 1989).   (BACP,2019). 
  • For additional and further information please visit https://www.bacp.co.uk/media/6305/bacp-managing-confidentiality-legal-resource-gpia014-july2019.pdf